Not going to lie, this is rough.
Lapses in all three phases burned the Jaguars. Here are this week’s winners and (mostly) losers…
For most of Sunday’s game, Etienne looked like the only Jaguar showing some effort.
The third-year back was efficient all game, averaging six yards a touch. After the run game was basically nonexistent against the Kansas City Chiefs, Etienne really got it going until the offense had to adapt to playing from behind.
Head coach Doug Pederson has been insistent on Jacksonville’s offense having balance. There were flashes of that against Houston, but ultimately an ineffective passing game became detrimental to Etienne’s production — especially later in the second half.
He could’ve capped off the day’s stat line with a touchdown, but after accounting for 49 yards on the Jaguars' opening drive of the second half, the score came from running back Tank Bigsby instead.
In a game like this, having any kind of spark play can be enough to make you a “winner.” That is the case with Engram, who saw only one target and catch in the first half.
He made the most of his targets in the second half, however, including a 28-yard catch-and-run in the third quarter — Jacksonville’s longest play of the day
Zay Jones was out, Calvin Ridley is obviously still getting acclimated to the game, and Jamal Agnew can’t hold on to the dang ball. Engram needs to be a bigger part of this offense. He’s proven time and time again to be dependable when others aren’t.
Yeah, if you clicked on this article you’re probably here for this part. So let’s get to it.
Logan Cooke had a fine day, this isn’t about you buddy.
The blunders started early and just kept on coming. It’s hard to get too down about Brandon McManus. His miss from 48 yards out seemed uncharacteristic considering he’d been money through the first two weeks.
The field goal block is nothing more than an amazing play by Texans rookie Will Anderson Jr. He powered right past the line and put himself directly in the kick’s line of fire. The Jaguars certainly need to address these plays, but there shouldn’t be much panic with McManus and the field goal unit.
Concern would be an appropriate feeling when analyzing Jacksonville’s kick-off coverage.
It’s one thing when a player like Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry breaks multiple tackles on a huge play and completely embarrasses a team. No disrespect, but it is a completely different thing when Andrew Beck does the same thing.
Beck’s 85-yard kickoff return is one of the Jaguars’ most inexcusable plays in recent memory. A pooch kick from McManus and no discipline from the entire unit. It’s hard to find more words to explain it beyond that. A sickeningly perfect example of when a game goes from bad to horrid.
Viewer discretion is advised.
Everyone on defense?
It is a difficult task to find even the smallest glimmer of hope on defense this week. Foyesade Oluokun kept racking up tackles (no surprise) and Travon Walker got in the backfield, like, a little bit. Josh Allen, too.
Other than that, it is nothing short of an embarrassment to allow 37 points to Houston. One of the main storylines heading into Sunday was how banged up the Texans offensive line was, missing four of five starters. Through its first two games, Houston had conceded 11 sacks, most in the NFL to that point.
The Jaguars didn’t get a single one. No pressure at all.
Rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud had all day to deal and boy did he. He finished the game with 280 passing yards and two touchdowns, including a 68-yard dagger to fellow rookie Tank Dell.
The one big question that the team and fans alike are probably asking is simply… what happened?
The Chiefs loss was a stinger for sure, but the defense had tons of life. The Jaguars’ energy getting after the ball and ability to create turnovers was a singular source of optimism. Seven days later, however, it’s all gone.
After a week of “better” and “good” practice, losing in this fashion is downright confusing. How can a get-right game go so wrong?
We will learn a lot about this football team over the next two weeks in London. No one will be singing the praises of the Jaguars anymore. All expectations that were had for Jacksonville need to be scrapped.
There are no givens now. The Jaguars are sailing in dangerous waters and their boat is beginning to take on water.
The Atlanta Falcons (2-1) are a young team that just suffered their first loss of the season. The trip across the pond should provide Jacksonville an advantage. However, no one is going to believe in this team until they see improvement when it actually matters. On paper talent hasn’t cut it so far, and it won’t as the season continues.